Central Bark Rochester teaches kids dog bite prevention safety

(ABC 6 News) – April is National Dog Bite Prevention Month, with Sunday kicking off the start of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

To prepare, Central Bark Rochester held a class Saturday morning to teach kids about a dog’s body language.

Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year, with around half of victims being children. Of those child victims, around half are bitten by a dog they already know.

Central Bark Rochester’s class taught kids the difference between a happy dog and an unhappy one.

It also taught kids when it’s okay to approach a dog and when not to, plus what to do if they’re approached by a strange dog.

Signs of a happy dog:

  • Low, wagging tail
  • Relaxed mouth that appears to be smiling
  • Soft and friendly eyes
  • Relaxed ears
  • Fur laying smooth
  • A loose body, with possible play bow or nose nudge to be petted

Signs of an unhappy dog:

  • Tail is stiff and up or tucked tightly between the dog’s legs
  • Lips are pulled back and showing teeth, could be barking or growling
  • Hard eyes that may appear black as the pupil dilates
  • Ears folded back tightly in a defensive position
  • Hair on the back and shoulders standing up or sticking out
  • Rigid and uptight body that is leaning forward and high

Central Bark Rochester will hold another bite prevention safety class for the kids at Endless Journey Daycare on Wednesday at 3 p.m.